Obama Urges Boehner To Hold Vote To Reopen Gov't - New York News

Obama Urges Boehner To Hold Vote To Reopen Gov't

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

President Barack Obama says he told House Speaker John Boehner he's willing to negotiate with Republicans on their priorities, but not under the threat of "economic chaos."

Nobody negotiates on a house and then burns the house down when a deal does not get reached, Obama analogized the current situation to reporters.

Obama spoke to reporters at the White House Tuesday in the midst of the eighth day of a partial government shutdown and a few hours after calling Boehner.

Obama says he urged Boehner to hold a vote immediately to reopen the government. He compared the partial shutdown to members of the House demanding ransom in exchange for doing their jobs. Obama says he's willing to not only negotiate fiscal issues with Republicans, but consider making the health care law better. But he says first he wants them to pass a bill to stop a partial government shutdown.

The White House says Obama also urged Boehner to hold a vote that would allow the government to borrow more money. Not raising the debt ceiling, Obama said, and letting the nation fall into default, would be like a "'nuclear bomb.'" Obama got that phrase from reading an article by Warren Buffet. He also warned those who purposely want it to get to that point that the economic risks will be real.

Senate Democrats are planning a vote this week to provide new borrowing, without new spending cuts that Republicans want.

"I've shown myself willing to go more than half way," Obama told reporters. "You can't make extortion routine part of a democracy."

President Obama also warned of what the shutdown and gridlock does to our nation's soft power.

"Whenever we do these things, it hurts our credibility around the world. Makes us look like we don't have our act together."

Obama then fielded a question by a reporter asking about what to say to our creditors like Japan and China. Obama responded by saying that he's reassured them, but it's also about what the US does, and that requires action by Congress.

"At minimum, let every member of Congress be on record," said Obama. "If we do end up defaulting, then voters will know who was responsible for not paying our billls."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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